Monday, March 22, 2004

Assad Professes His Love for Bush, I Review My Criticism, and IED Maker Confesses to Knight 2 that He Kills "...because God tells me to kill you."

Buy the book and get a perspective like no other soldier story currently in print. To see why, visit

22 March, 2004 2205

“Thompson, I thank God for you, I thank God for Mr. Bush, God protect Mr. Bush,” Mazin (Assad’s brother) told me so sincerely as the nearby mosque echoed evening prayers. “Thompson, really, God bless Mr. Bush,” he said. I suspected the prayers triggered his thinking, because he started speaking of being thankful as soon as the singing of the Koran began. I felt so conflicted, because I know Mazin like a brother and I know he’s got a huge heart. He’s poor as dirt too, but speaks such good English and is always positive. He’s got a wife and kids and he’s living in an abandoned Army building. My problems are so small compared to his struggles, struggles he shrugs off. Somehow he makes ends meet. I felt conflicted because I don’t agree with how Bush is executing the war on terrorism. I think it’s out of touch with the realities on the ground that no politician or military minded person can assess and understand. Wishful thinking is dangerous. I would rather deal with reality, and get real results. I believe it’s how you do something that can ensure long-term success. Something deep in my soul says we did something the wrong way. Even on the anniversary of the war, I see images of the war, and I am totally disgusted with that period of time. It’s then I remember 100% why I need to get out of the Army (aside from never wanting to leave you again because it physically hurts my heart). It’s murder – war is murder.
After leaving Mazin for the evening, I thought about what he said while I walked back to the headquarters. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? These people are liberated, no doubt about it, but it’s so dangerous – it’s not safe for Americans or Iraqis or anyone else except the extremists – because everyone is afraid of them. Some mindless Texan who happens to be president is surrounded by calculating, cold, power players who possess an air of infallibility and wealth – and he says he believes in fighting terrorism and creating a free Iraq. Maybe he does, ask Mazin, and he’d say Bush is certainly succeeding. Ask almost any Iraqi. Does this end justify the means – those means having made many people with Republican ties rich, resulted in innocent blood being spilled everyday, soldiers getting killed by $10 roadside bombs?
The question is, was Bush right to do this? I believe he is president, and he took us to war saying Iraq was an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. We found no WMD. That was why we went to war – regardless of mass graves and cruelty. I expect my president to hold the highest standards – we are America – not Haiti or China. The world looks to us for leadership, it’s true. We said Iraq had WMD, we put the reputation of the U.S. intelligence agencies (feared and respected worldwide because of Hollywood and all that the agencies “hadn’t” done – whether real operations or imagined). It was a weapon (intel agencies) – perception. Perception was a powerful weapon, because we all assumed it worked flawlessly, as it never really failed on the world stage.
As the war progressed, no WMD has been found, and many of the promises Bush made about capturing Osama Bin Laden, about arsenals of WMD are all proving fruitless. Not only that, but the invincibility of the U.S. forces seems less so with each highly publicized attack on sitting duck soldiers in soft skin vehicles. The CIA, the FBI…well, they don’t seem so scary anymore. How big is their budget? Surely the CIA had the technology to track WMD sites and movements. I’m not so sure now, neither are our European neighbors – and they didn’t believe the evidence shown to them by the U.S. We still haven’t found any WMD. Our reputation has been damaged as a nation, and even though it’s naïve to think the government will always be honest, I expect more from the leaders of the U.S. government than to squander our prestige in front of the whole world. Now, it would be different if they made a clear case based on concrete or readily available reasons, of which there are so many other than WMD. Our national security is wounded. Not because of September 11th, but because our security net seems to be guarded by paper tigers.
I sincerely believe this whole war on terror could have been executed differently, but a chain of poor decisions have been made. Bush may truly believe in what he’s doing, and Iraq may be free now, but it will be at the expense of U.S. homeland security. We must reckon with reality and move thoughtfully. Statesmanship is an art – not a football game, and we need men of extraordinary intellect and experience. Leaders should be extraordinary. All of these concerns I have about Bush I would have expected to feel about a Texas governor – not the most powerful man in the world. It’s time for change, I don’t know if Kerry is the best man…personally, I don’t trust him – BUT I’ll give him a chance – because I don’t doubt he loves America – because it’s a great nation after all.
I love you Nora, I can’t wait to come home to you.

Two Iraqis were found by a patrol placing a roadside bomb at night. We had never caught anyone in the act of placing a bomb. One of the two was zip stripped by the neck to the dashboard heater grill for the ride to our detention facility. They were lucky nothing more happened. IEDs were feared and hated, and here are two people placing these horrible things! Did they not deserve to be shot on the spot? Those were the feelings some of the soldiers there must have had. During the interrogation of one of the bombers, it was revealed that they were placing the bombs to earn money. There were service fees paid to interested volunteers, $20 for placing a bomb, $50 for a successful kill, etcetera. The other bomber had more personal reasons for placing the bomb. When asked why he did it, he responded, “Because God tells me to kill you.”

Buy the book and get a perspective like no other soldier story currently in print. To see why, visit


Post a Comment

<< Home